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A Look Around the West



    In what is a weekly segment, let's take a look around the rest of the AL West, which includes three teams looking up at your Texas Rangers more than two weeks into the season.

    With 12 games down on the Rangers' schedule, and 150 to go, the Rangers are still in possession of the best record the American League has to offer, despite dropping their last two games — both in walk-off fashion against Detroit.

    A look at the AL West:

    1. Texas Rangers (9-3) — The record-setting offense has cooled down a bit since the Rangers hit the road last week. But playing in Comerica Park will do that to any team. That 420-foot wall in center field is a long way away. The story of this team so far has been its starting pitching. A staff where C.J. Wilson and Colby Lewis are the weakest parts (at the moment) is a really good staff. They begin a three-game set in The Bronx on Friday that will be a big one, no doubt. With Matt Harrison, Derek Holland and Alexi Ogando going Yankee Stadium, that series will be full of intrigue. Then, the Rangers return back to the friendly confines of Rangers Ballpark for a 10-game homestand, beginning with a series against division foe Los Angeles.

    2. Los Angeles Angels (7-5) — The Angels have been winning with their pitching so far, including a dynamite start by ace Jered Weaver the other day where it seemed he fanned every batter he faced. The Angels have won two straight against a surprising Cleveland team and are about to go the South Side to face the Chicago White Sox before coming to Texas for what will be an early, key series against the division leaders.

    3. Oakland A's (6-6) — On Wednesday night, the A's went on a rare offensive binge, scoring three runs in the ninth to force extra innings against the White Sox and three more in the 10th to win the game 7-4. It was rare because the A's, like always, are more pitching than offense this year. Tonight, the A's being a four-game set at home against the Tigers, that just took two of three from the Rangers.

    4. Seattle Mariners (4-8) — As expected, the Mariners have stumbled out of the gates despite their Cy Young winner King Felix and the electric rookie pitcher Michael Pineda. In fact, it wouldn't be crazy to go ahead and say Pineda is an overwhelming favorite to take home AL Rookie of the Year honors this year. The guy is just absolutely electric, and his upper 90s fastball certainly helps matters too. The Mariners go to Kansas City for a four-game series against the surprising 7-4 Royals.